Believe it or not, we’re more than half way through January (I don’t know if I’m equipped to have the rest of the year go as fast as the last few weeks have passed). The holiday giving season is behind us and it’s been a few months since the height of the canning season. Things should be a littler quieter than they were in November and December, making it the perfect time to take stock of where things stand in your larder of home canned goods.
I know that for lots of you, this was only the first or second year that you tried your hand at preserving some food for the winter season, so how were you to know how much you’d wind up wanting to have in stock? It’s perfectly okay that this period be about learning, but a large part of that education process is keeping good track.
I’ll admit right here that I’m not always the best about writing down everything I’ve canned (although at least I have this blog to help me keep track, at least in part). But every year around this time, I try to take stock, determine what I still have, what’s starting to run out and plan accordingly.
Your tracking system can be as simple as a notebook, in which you list the things you’ve made and then you mark them off as you eat or gift them. I’ve seen some highly sophisticated spreadsheets in my time as well. The most important thing to do is develop a system that works for you and keep it up to date. This way, you’ll make sure to use up what you have and have some information to guide you as you head into next season (for instance, who else has a glut of jam, but is already starting to run low on tomatoes?).
So, where does everyone stand right now? Let’s hear about what’s running low and what you’re struggling to use up, as well as the tracking systems you use to help you keep track.